Campus hosting New England Sheep Symposium

The Second Annual New England Sheep Symposium, will be held on campus on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Douglas Gillespie, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Program speakers include:

Tom Settlemire, Bowdoin College, who will discuss “The Katahdin Sheep Project- Breeding for Parasite Resistance, Protection Against Scrapie, and Production.”

Settlemire will also give a workshop titled “How to Use the Quick and Easy FAMACHA Parasite Test on Your Flock” following his presentation. This system allows farmers to evaluate parasite loads in their flocks quickly (no fecal floats necessary). Because the materials involved in this system are patented, there is an additional cost of $25 per farm for those wanting to participate in this workshop.

Katherine Marshall of the federal Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) in Ft. Collins, Colo., will talk about the Scrapie Eradication Program.

Greg Lewis of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho will speak about “Current U.S. Sheep Experiment Station Programs to Increase Production Efficiency of Sheep.”

Darrell Emmick, U.S. Department of Agriculture grazing specialist from Cortland, N.Y., will discuss “Grazing Behavior and Diet Selection: Principles to Practices.”

Sheep geneticist David Notter from Virginia Tech will talk about genetic improvement of small flocks.

David Rich of the New England Heritage Breed Conservancy at Hancock Shaker Village, will also participate.

A buffet lunch will be served.

Registration is $35 per person. Check made payable to “UMass” should be sent to Sheep Symposium, 302 Stockbridge Hall, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, UMass, Amherst, MA 01003. 4-H youth are encouraged to attend (local advisory councils will subsidize registration fees).

The symposium is sponsored by UMass Extension, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Pioneer Valley Sheep Breeders Association and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association.

For information, contact Mark T. Huyler, 545-2344, mhuyler@vasci.umass.edu.